Michael Gruber, Valley of Bones Reviews

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“Valley of Bones ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 14/11/2004

Valley of Bones
Michael Gruber
Morrow, Jan 2005, $24.95, 448 pp.
ISBN: 0060774533

Miami Police Officer Morales was just leaving the Trianon Hotel after responding to a hoax call of a disturbance when he saw the man fall from the tenth floor balcony. Though he wanted to vomit, he first called in a homicide and held back his physical need so as not to compromise the crime scene. Not long afterward, renowned Detective Paz arrives to take charge of the investigation.

They head up to room 10D to learn more about the victim Jabir Akran al-Muwalid to decide whether a suicide, an accident or a murder occurred. Inside the room in some form of a trance is Emmylou Dideroff who insists that she was talking with the dead Saint Catherine of Siena before she fainted. She also says that Mr. al-Muwalid is a mass murderer, slaughtering thousands from her tribe and others with his death squad in the Sudan; she swears she came to forgive him not kill him though the murder weapon belongs to her.

Above are just the first few pages of an excellent crime thriller that plays out on three interconnected fascinating storylines. The obvious is Jimmy Paz's investigation; then there are the extracts from the book Faithful Unto Death: The Story of the Nursing Sisters of the Blood of Christ by St. Benedicta Cooley; finally the handwritten bound notes dubbed The Confessions of Emmylou Dideroff that the wild protagonist furbishes to Paz. Fans of deep police procedurals with two intriguing twists (the other sub-stories) starring a wonderful protagonist and a weird but intriguing suspect will take immense delight with Michael Gruber's return of the Paz (see TROPIC OF NIGHT).

Harriet Klausner

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